Originals

“Where does it come from,
The sap of strangeness inside us…” ~ Alberto Rios

A poet once asked, can you think
of a truly original thought? I scratch

my head and ask my students the same
question, then we start making lists: rain

running in blue zigzags down a window screen,
a loose thread begging to be pulled from

a sleeve. The way you can tell two people
(who most of the time love each other)

are having a quarrel in public, by the way
they look in different directions though their

elbows still touch. Someone says volcanos have
no regard for rhetoric or syntax, as evidenced

by the way they spill their hot guts there
on the pavement, at your feet. The wind

doesn’t ring the chimes in the tree:
it’s the way a hollow body makes space

for a wave, then deflects it at a boundary.
For the umpteenth time, I’m telling you:

there’s no o in my first name. Yes,
I’m original— but not like that. A cracked

nail grows back after it’s filed or cut.
Apparently, a cat can poop in a yard

as copiously as a dog. Obviously, another
form of what’s called intertextuality.

 

In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What is Left of Wings, I Ask (2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, knits, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.

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